By Allie Eskew, Director of Operations and Events
Trusted partner: We work vigorously and tirelessly to exceed our client’s expectations. Consider us an extension of your closest, most trusted team.
I first started with Piper in 2013. It’s incredible to me that so many of the clients I began working with all those years ago are still with us to this day. That’s the thing about Piper Communications: We become trusted members of our clients’ teams.
We can attribute our long-lasting relationships with our clients to our commitment to generating results and forgoing a “one-size-fits-all” approach to strategic communications – it’s our “special sauce.” As our client, you are part of the Piper family. I love building meaningful relationships with our clients and really getting to know them and their goals for a project. Their trust in my ability to help them reach those goals is not something I take lightly.
Internally, we have taken the same approach. As the Piper team has grown, we have been intentional about each and every hire we made in order to maintain the culture and values that Cortney built. When you build relationships and trust internally and externally, it makes the work more meaningful and rewarding. We want each other to win and we want our clients to be successful.
Building strategies and exceeding expectations
Over the years, we have proven to our clients that we get results for them and won’t stop until we do. Sometimes that requires pivoting the plan of action or strategy, but we’ve garnered the reputation of a trusted partner because Piper Communications is committed to ensuring client satisfaction and executing our goals.
A well-planned strategy starts with attention to detail and trying to predict the future. We’re currently working on the Innov865 Alliance’s Innov865 Week. As I plan the weeklong celebration of Knoxville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, I run through all of the worst-case scenarios early on so that we are prepared for anything. Defining clear goals and milestones is crucial and above all else, you need to know what your audience wants out of an event and who that target audience is in order to be successful.
One of my other focus areas is working with the team at the UT Research Park and Spark Innovation Center. I have partnered with them on the launch of their first cohort at the Cleantech Accelerator. We spent many months planning for the arrival of the cohort – from putting out applications to finalizing a program schedule.
At this point, I feel like an honorary CTA team member. I have worked with several of their team members on multiple projects and clients over the years, so I would like to think they keep coming back to Piper because they trust us to get results (and because they like working with our team).
Building and maintaining a trusted team
As the Director of Operations and Events, I also facilitate our employee relations. In order for our team to operate as a trusted partner with our clients, we have to build and maintain that culture internally.
Oftentimes, team building gets a bad rap because when people hear “team building,” they think trust falls and cheesy activities. But it is so much more than that. Spending time together outside of the office doing any sort of activity allows you to get to know your coworkers on a personal level. What are their likes and dislikes? What is their family like? The more you know about a person, the more you get to know their communication styles, how they like to receive feedback, criticism, etc.
No matter the type of relationship, if you don’t have trust, it is doomed to fail. It is no different with coworkers – trust is crucial to a professional team. Lets face it, you spend 40 hours a week with your coworkers, so they should be people you work well with. From the inside out, Piper Communications built a culture of trust in order to serve as an extension of our client’s team and effectively exceed their expectations.